US President Donald Trump is dropping broad hints he is responsible for the death of al-Qaeda leader Qassim al-Rimi, who unconfirmed reports say was killed by a drone strike on a militants’ stronghold in eastern Yemen, tribal leaders say, amid reports the attack killed a senior leader.
While not taking direct responsibility for the as-yet-unconfirmed attack on the compound, Mr Trump has been retweeting claims by others that the Islamicist commander died in the January 25 assassination.
The Yemeni tribal leaders said the drone strike took place in the Wadi Ubaidah area in the eastern province of Marib
The area is known as a stronghold for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The tribal leaders said at least three explosions hit the area, and the building was set ablaze.
3)Breaking: It appears that Qasim al-Rimi, leader of the Yemen-based #AQAP, was the individual targeted & killed in a U.S. drone strike on Saturday, January 25 in Wadi Ubaidah, east of #Sanaa – a longtime stronghold for the group. AQAP has yet to officially confirm his death. pic.twitter.com/ohDcH2d8wz
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) January 30, 2020
The Yemeni tribal leaders said the drone strike took place in the Wadi Ubaidah area in the eastern province of Marib. The area is known as a stronghold for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The tribal leaders said at least three explosions hit the area, and the building was set ablaze.
It was not immediately clear how many militants were in the building at the time or their identities.
The tribal leaders said a handful of al-Qaeda militants arrived on the scene just after the strike and cordoned off the area.
Trump on Saturday retweeted several articles that seemed to offer confirmation that al-Rimi, one of AQAP’s founders and its current chief, was killed.
The White House did not comment on whether Trump’s retweeting was confirmation of the death.
Al-Rimi succeeded Nasser al-Wahishi, who was killed in a US drone strike in 2015, as the top leader of AQAP.
AQAP has long been considered the global network’s most dangerous branch and has attempted to carry out attacks on the US mainland.